Six of us were assembled, on a small stage in the main hall of Woking beer festival. Empty glasses labelled with a letter, bottles of water and cream crackers were laid out on the table. All very professional looking. The were six beers to judge and they were brought to us in turn in a random order. Each was judged out of ten for appearance, aroma, taste and aftertaste, though the points for taste were doubled to give and overall score out of 50.
The blurb on the scoresheet has information about different areas of the tongue detecting different tastes which has been disproven, and more disturbingly research carried out at my current workplace has shown people score beer the same whether they swallow it or spit it out. I hope this revolting part of wine culture does not move into the world of beer.
When the tasting was done the scores from each judge were added up to give the total for each beer. In a dramatic* turn of events the top two tied so we were brought fresh samples of each to score again. This time there was a clear cut unanimous winner, though surprisingly four of the tasters had given higher scores to the runner-up beer first. The winner was Palmers Tally Ho!, I'll be watching out to see how it does in the national competition.